Home‎ > ‎Colloquia‎ > ‎2018‎ > ‎

Participants


Jan Greitens
    
 
Contributor: "Monetary Theory in 18th Century Prussia. Johann Philipp Graumann and Johann Heinrich Gottlob Justi"
Affiliation     Duale Hochschule Baden-Würtemberg Mosbach
Abstract:     In the history of economic thought, monetary theories in the German-speaking world of the early modern era are considered backward compared to the approaches in other European countries. This backwardness can be shown by two authors from the middle of the 18th century, who were not only contemporaries but also successively in the service of Frederick II (“the Great”) of Prussia. The first is Johann Philipp Graumann, one of the 'projectors' of the 18th century. As master of the mints in Prussia, he developed a coin project, where he tried to implement a new monetary standard to promote trade, generate seigniorage income and implement the Prussian coins as a kind of a reserve currency. In his writings, he developed a typical mercantilistic monetary theory with a clear understanding of the mechanism in the balance of payments. But even when he tried to include credit instruments, he did not take banks or broader financial markets into account. The second thinker is Johann Heinrich Gottlob Justi, who took the opposite position concerning the coin project as well as in his theory. He defended a strictly metalist monetary approach where the value of money should only be based on the metal's value. While Graumann rejected the English coin system, Justi recommended its laws for countries without their own mines, because the sovereign should not misuse his right of coinage. For him, the monetary system had to be reliable and stable to serve trade and economic development.
    The backwardness of the two writers, especially compared to the English discussion (which they followed at least with Steuart, Cantillon, and Hume) is obvious. The questions Graumann and Justi dealt with echo the older English discussions between 1665 and 1717 about seigniorage and bimetallism. Graumann and Justi were trapped in the situation of a divided Germany, in which many states had the right of coinage and devalued the coins to generate income. The German financial and tax system lagged behind the English development, as the financing of the states was still based on seigniorage; a bank wasn`t founded in Prussia until the 1760s. A Financial Revolution had not taken place in Prussia before the Napoleonic period. The backwardness of the monetary and financial system of Germany can account for the backwardness in monetary theory.
Bio Jan Greitens is an associate professor of economics at Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg. He worked for several years in banks before he went into academia. His research interest lies in the history of monetary theories, and he wrote, for example, on Rudolf Hilferding in “Finanzkapital und Finanzsysteme” (metropolis, 2018).
Marcel Hartwig    Discussant
AffiliationUniversity of Siegen
BioMarcel Hartwig is an assistant professor for English and American Studies at the University of Siegen. At Chemnitz University of Technology, he handed in his PhD thesis on cultural representations of both September 11, 2001 and the attacks on Pearl Harbor as national traumata. He has contributed research papers in academic readers and international journals in the field of media studies, critical finance studies, literary criticism, gender studies, and popular culture. Currently he is working on his post-doctoral project in the field of transatlantic studies entitled "Transit Cultures: 18th Century Medical Discourses and Knowledge Media in the North American Colonies".
 
Rodney Herring
 
Contributor: "‘Money is not a Pledge’: Early Financial Genres, the Battle of the Banks, and John Law’s Money and Trade Considered" (with Mark Longaker)
Affiliation University of Colorado Denver
Abstract John Law has been portrayed as a rake, a gambler, a policy-wonk and (more recently) as a serious economic theorist. Law’s Money and Trade, which he wrote in defense of a land-bank proposal before Scottish parliament (1705), is the basis for his reputation as an economic theorist. Close analysis of his major English-language contribution to economics reveals that Money and Trade is less social science and more political rhetoric, less about economic principles and more about exigent polemics. Like other debt instruments, such as the French billets de monnaie which Law admired, the land-backed money that he proposed to Scottish Parliament was a political construction, dependent upon public trust, government assurance and convincing argument. The pamphlet’s dual-audience of Parliamentarians and a wider public required a generalized discussion, which today sounds like abstract economic theory but in the early 18th century was simply plain-style rhetoric proved with lively examples, sensible deductions, and clear explanations. The rhetoric of Money and Trade demonstrates that the financial revolution was based on neither confidence games nor principles of political economy, but was rather built by policy-entrepreneurs, like Law, people who offered sensible schemes to address exigent political circumstances.
 Bio Rodney Herring is assistant professor and director of composition in the Department of English at the University  of Colorado Denver. His essays include "The Rhetoric of Credit, the Rhetoric of Debt: Economic Arguments in  Early America and Beyond" (Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 2016) and "Representational Crisis: Contradiction and  Determination in Verbal Criticism" (Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 2010). His work has also appeared in Rhetoric  Review and Argumentation & Advocacy.
Marlene Keßler     Contributor: "Between hope, conflicts and despair. An investors’ perspective on speculating in the 'Mississippi bubble'"
AffiliationUniversity of Tübingen
AbstractThe economic details of John Law’s system and the Mississippi bubble it culminated in have been well researched. By contrast, the motives, insights and experiences of the investing public remained under-explored, even though these individual actors evidently played a crucial role both for the development of the bubble and for the failure of John Law’s system.
    The paper retraces the rare perspective of an ordinary investor who traded with Mississippi shares on the secondary market, both on his own and on others’ account. The case study investigates how this share trader, named Jean Vercour, made sense of events, which strategies he developed and which constraints he experienced. Vercour’s behaviour during the bubble is best to be conceived as a chain of decisions. Every time, he weighed up between different reasonings and the requirements that were articulated by his partners. Hence, his actual course of action is more complex than the common opposition of rational and irrational investment behaviour suggests. Vercour’s economic practices were closely linked to the social structures he was embedded in. Even though the stories that circulated suggested the opposite, in practice, share trade was not an experience of equality. The scope of action investors saw for themselves depended on their financial resources, the social networks they had built up and the credit and insights they got from there.
BioMarlene Keßler is a PHD candidate in History at the University of Tübingen and an associate researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 923 ‘Threatened orders – societies under stress’, in a project supervised by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr and Dr. Daniel Menning. In her dissertation, Marlene explores the investors who got involved in John Law’s system. Shifting between the actors’ experiences on the micro level and, on that basis, more general topics such as public opinion, interaction and emotions, she develops a cultural approach to the economic events.
    Marlene studied History, French and Latin in Tübingen. In her master’s thesis, she investigated the Mississippi Bubble of 1720 as perceived in London. Recently, she published a source edition entitled “The European Canton Trade 1723. Competition and Cooperation”, together with Kristin Lee and Daniel Menning.
 
Charles Larkin
 
Chair: Power I
 Affiliation         Trinity College Dublin
 Bio Dr. Charles J. Larkin is a Research Associate at the University of Dublin, Trinity College School of Business in Ireland. Dr. Larkin has previously taught at Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of Dublin, Trinity College, National University of Ireland Maynooth and the ESC Toulouse School of Business in France. Dr. Larkin was also special adviser on economic policy matters to Sen. Sean D. Barrett, Seanad Éireann and to the Joint Oireachtas Inquiry into the Banking Crisis.  Dr. Larkin was awarded his Ph.D. in economics form the University of Dublin, Trinity College in 2008. Dr. Larkin has produced scholarly peer-reviewed publications and won corporate and research council funding (FP7 and Irish Research Council). Articles by Dr. Larkin have appeared in the national and international journals. In addition to these wider audiences, Dr. Larkin has presented his research to the Federal Reserve and several international economic and financial conferences and high level panels.
 
Adrian Leonard   
 
Contributor: "

The Merits of Joint Stock: Floating Marine Insurance Companies on a Bubble"

 AffiliationUniversity of Cambridge
 AbstractThe paper I propose revolves around the so-called Bubble Act and South Sea company funding, and solves the riddle of why an Act remembered as one whose purpose was to ban joint stock companies also (and primarily, according to contemporaries) granted royal charters to two new JSCs. Both were marine insurance companies.
    My research shows that, far from setting up as an investment opportunity in competition to the South Sea Company, the two insurers established by the Bubble Act (actually called "An Act for better securing certain Powers and Privileges, intended to be granted by His Majesty by Two Charters, for Assurance of Ships and Merchandize at Sea, and for lending Money upon Bottomry; and for restraining several extravagant and unwarrantable Practices therein mentioned") were in fact used to channel investment money into the South Sea Co., and were very much the product (at least in part) of senior SSC directors and investors, including Blunt himself.
    My conclusions are based on examination of the subscription books of the insurance companies, as well as petitions in favour of the insurers, all of which show that the lion's share of incumbent SSC directors and other key SSC associates were founding investors in one or the other insurers, or both, and held senior positions in the insurance companies. I also show that the companies did indeed invest their surpluses in SSC stock. If the Bubble Act's prohibition of new JSCs was intended to prevent investors' cash being diverted from the South Sea Company (as Ron Harris has shown), its creation of two new insurers had the same design.

    The money element of this story is clear. The power element reaches from the City to the gentry all the way to the throne. The print encompasses the ability to create wealth through subscription, as well as pamphleteering surrounding the chartering of the insurers.

 BioAdrian Leonard is the Associate Director and a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Financial History at Darwin College. As an economic and social historian his main area of interest is marine insurance in Britain, the British Empire, and around the world from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. Current research projects include a history of commercial insurance in London in the twentieth century. Some of his earlier research findings have been published in the December, 2012 edition of Historical Journal, and in a chapter of the book Questioning Credible Commitment: Perspectives on the Rise of Financial Capital, published by Cambridge University Press in September 2013.
 
Mark Longaker   
 
Contributor: "‘Money is not a Pledge’: Early Financial Genres, the Battle of the Banks, and John Law’s Money and Trade Considered" (with Rodney Herring)
 Affiliation    University of Texas at Austin
 AbstractJohn Law has been portrayed as a rake, a gambler, a policy-wonk and (more recently) as a serious economic theorist. Law’s Money and Trade, which he wrote in defense of a land-bank proposal before Scottish parliament (1705), is the basis for his reputation as an economic theorist. Close analysis of his major English-language contribution to economics reveals that Money and Trade is less social science and more political rhetoric, less about economic principles and more about exigent polemics. Like other debt instruments, such as the French billets de monnaie which Law admired, the land-backed money that he proposed to Scottish Parliament was a political construction, dependent upon public trust, government assurance and convincing argument. The pamphlet’s dual-audience of Parliamentarians and a wider public required a generalized discussion, which today sounds like abstract economic theory but in the early 18th century was simply plain-style rhetoric proved with lively examples, sensible deductions, and clear explanations. The rhetoric of Money and Trade demonstrates that the financial revolution was based on neither confidence games nor principles of political economy, but was rather built by policy-entrepreneurs, like Law, people who offered sensible schemes to address exigent political circumstances.

 BioMark Garrett Longaker is an associate professor of rhetoric and writing, English, and communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He's the author of Rhetoric and the Republic (University of Alabama Press, 2007), Rhetorical Style and Bourgeois Virtue (Penn State University Press, 2015), and co-author (with Jeffrey Walker) of Rhetorical Analysis (Pearson, 2011).
 
Michael McKeon
 
Contributor: "The Financial Revolution and the Virtualization of English Culture"
 AffiliationRutgers University, New Jersey
 AbstractThe Financial Revolution, constituted by virtual entities--the market, public credit, paper money--is also a virtual phenomenon. So are (civil) society and the public sphere, the products of print culture, the contractual and consensual basis of political representation, and the subjective basis of Protestant salvation. What is the extent of this "virtual revolution"? Why did it coalesce during the Restoration and the eighteenth century?
 BioMichael McKeon specializes in the history of literary and cultural forms. His approach to history takes in both the chronological or diachronic dimension of forms and their structural or synchronic relations to other formations --political, social, economic, cultural -- with which they coexist at their respective diachronic moments. Within this broad methodological field, McKeon’s attention is concentrated on England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

    McKeon has taught and written on a range of topics, among them the aesthetic, realism, disinterestedness, genre theory, narrative theory, parody, allegory and typology, romance and the novel, family romance, the picaresque, pastoral and pastoralism, sensibility, travel narratives, status and class, sex and gender, domestication and domesticity, pornography, patriarchalism, secularization, the quarrel of the ancients and moderns, from feudalism to capitalism, periodization, the division of knowledge, science and literature, civil and religious liberty, the public and the private, the public sphere, libel and censorship, Marxism and literature, dialectical method, politics and poetry, tradition, print culture and virtual reality.

 
Sebastian Meuer
 
Chair: Print II
 AffiliationUniversity of Freiburg
 BioSebastian Meurer, PhD, is the academic project manager of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 948 ‘Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms’ at the University of Freiburg. Previously, he was a research associate and research area coordinator at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context’ in Heidelberg and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen. His doctoral dissertation (Heidelberg, 2014) develops an intellectual history of public administration in Britain, British India and Ireland in the second half of the eighteenth century. Sebastian’s interest in financial history originally stems from this engagement with British fiscal administration, political oeconomy and reform practice. Recently, Sebastian has co-edited the volume Konstruktionen Europas in der Frühen Neuzeit (HeiUP 2017); he serves as a series editor of Critical Readings in Global Intellectual History (DeGruyter). 

 
Anne Murphy
 
Organizer; Chair: Power II; Contributor: "Women and the South Sea Bubble"
 AffiliationUniversity of Hertfordshire
 BioAnne Murphy is a Reader in History and Associate Dean Research in the School of Humanities. She came to academia after spending twelve years working in the City trading interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives. Her research focuses on early modern financial markets and investment behaviour and the organisation and management of the 18th-century Bank of England. Her publications include articles in History, Financial History Review, Economic History Review and Histoire et Mesure and a monograph published by Cambridge University Press titled The Origins of English Financial Markets: Investment and Speculation before the South Sea Bubble. Her monograph was winner of the Economic History Society’s first monograph prize in 2010.
 
Natalie Roxburgh
 
Organizer; Chair: Money II
 AffiliationUniversity of Siegen
 BioNatalie Roxburgh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Siegen, and she researches Anglophone literature and culture, and she is interested in the relationship between formal aspects of literary texts and developments in other forms of knowledge. Her work focuses on science and economics in literature, and she currently has two main projects: one on the poetics and aesthetics of ‘disinterestedness’ and one on psychopharmacology and literature. In addition to teaching and researching at the University of Siegen, she is also part of the interdisciplinary research group Fiction Meets Science. Her first book is titled Representing Public Credit: Credible Commitment, Fiction, and the Rise of the Financial Subject (Routledge, 2016). She has published in Eighteenth-Century FictionMosaic, and other academic journals. She is also an active participant in and sometimes organizer of the Critical Finance Studies and Money, Power and Print meetings.
Daniel SchäferDiscussant
AffiliationUniversity of Siegen
BioDaniel is studying English and History at the University of Siegen as part of the teachers' training programme. He mainly focusses on Victorian literature, including a bachelor thesis on the representation of facts and figures in the writing of Charles Dickens. Daniel is also working as a student assistant for Felix Sprang and Natalie Roxburgh.
 
Jacob Sider Jost
 
Contributor: "Finance and Politics in Shaftesbury"
 AffiliationDickinson College, Pennsylvania
 AbstractIn the generation between the Revolution of 1688 and the death of Queen Anne in 1714, Britain underwent two epochal transformations. War debt and global trade swelled the importance of London as a financial center; at the same time, frequent and contested parliamentary elections divided England along partisan lines. Recent historians have emphasized that these developments were connected: financial capitalism was from the start a creature of government policy, and modern politics could never have existed independent of finance. Yet while a distinguished tradition of critics has shown how Britain’s new credit economy transformed eighteenth-century literature and aesthetics, fewer have taken the nexus of finance and partisan electoral politics together as a foundation for criticism.
    I wish to present the Money, Power and Print Colloquium with a case study in such criticism, mapping the financial-political imaginary in the essays of the third earl of Shaftesbury. Shaftesbury’s transformation of the ancient stoic concept of apatheia into the modern idiom of disinterestedness can only be fully understood when we reconstruct what interest—in the sense both of economic advantage (self-interest) and of political commitment (party interest)—meant to a philosopher who was also an investor, landowner, member of parliament and peer. Shaftesbury’s ethos of disinterest, it turns out, borrows metaphors from the worlds of late Stuart economics and politics even as it expresses suspicion of the literal acts of trading for a profit and canvassing for votes. Moreover, Shaftesbury’s metaphorics survive in later and even more influential philosophical accounts of disinterest, particularly Kant’s Critique of Judgment. 
 BioJacob Sider Jost is an assistant professor of English at Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA.  His research interests include the literature, philosophy and theology of the eighteenth century. His first book, Prose Immortality, 1711-1819, appeared in 2015 from the University of Virginia Press, and he has published articles in Essays in CriticismReview of English StudiesModern PhilologyELHSELModern Intellectual History and elsewhere.

Katherine Smoak
 
Contributor: "Cutting the Sinews of War: Wartime Finance and Counterfeiting during the American Revolution"
AffiliationJohns Hopkins University
AbstractThis paper investigates accusations of British-sponsored counterfeiting during the American Revolution. It recounts the new opportunities that wartime opened for counterfeiters and evaluates the likelihood of official British-sponsored counterfeiting. It then charts how American officials mobilized accusations of British counterfeiting to buttress the legitimacy of American paper money. Counterfeiting became a convenient way to explain depreciation and simultaneously position the British as an unprincipled enemy unable to defeat Americans using the usual tactics of war. While Congress tried to use accusations of British counterfeiting to convince an increasingly unwilling American public that accepting paper money at face value was a patriotic duty, average Americans used the specter of counterfeiting to their own purposes: as a pretense for refusing depreciated paper and as a way to target individuals in the community who seemed politically suspect. Ultimately, this paper argues that counterfeiting was a potent and overlooked force in discourses centered on paper money and public finance, one that held explanatory power for many of the founding generation long after the Revolution.
BioKatherine Smoak is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Johns Hopkins University in her final year of study. Her Ph.D. thesis examines the practices and politics of counterfeiting in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world. Her research has been supported by numerous short- and long-term fellowships, including year-long fellowships from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and the American Council of Learned Societies.
    She recently published an article based on portions of this research in the William and Mary Quarterly which charted the rise of a trans-Atlantic trade in foreign coin in the last third of the eighteenth century.
 
Felix Sprang
 
Organizer; Chair: Print I
 AffiliationUniversity of Siegen
 BioFelix Sprang has worked mainly on the intersection of literature and the ‘arts and sciences’ in early modern England as well as on the connection between literature and science across all literary periods. He is also interested in the aesthetics of literary texts and the methods derived from the project “Kulturwissenschaft”, in particular the strand devised by Aby Warburg and Ernst Cassirer. Felix Sprang studied English, Biology, Philosophy and Paedagogics at the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Hamburg, and received his PhD from the University of Hamburg with a dissertation that probes into literary reflections of scientific thought in early modern London. That book was largely conceived as Aby Warburg Scholar at the Warburg Institute, University of London. As Assistant Professor at the University of Hamburg he wrote his second book (Habilitation) which revisits poetic form and calls for a reappraisal of form from the vantage point of intellectual history and phenomenology. Having taught at the HU Berlin and the LMU Munich, he is now teaching English Literature at the University of Siegen. 
 
Rafael Streib
 
Contributor: "The Role of Imaginary Space During the South Sea Bubble"
 AffiliationUniversity of Tübingen
 AbstractTrust and faith are important foundations in the rational decision-making of investing into the financial market of 1720. Moreover, I claim trust was the main issue that the people needed to rebuild after the crash in 1720.
    I am using the concept of imaginary space to analyse the common idea 18th century-investors have of mainly unknown countries and unlimited profit through foreign trade. Since this is one of the major legitimations of the South Sea Company and other stock companies. These spaces exist in a geographical sense but are mainly mental constructs, particularly since serious information about these lands was rare.
    These imaginary spaces made the investors dream of fantastic profits. It is not important that the investors have this idea in mind when they conduct business transactions certainly most of the time they just cared about their profits and not about foreign islands. That is the reason some scholars today believe these promises are not important at all.
    James Brydges, for example, used such mechanisms when he supported the idea of a trade with the inland of Africa. People must have trusted him and shared a common idea of an imaginary space of Africa. However, numerous publications such as Moll, Defoe or Elking contradict this view. Even after the crash, the Companies used new ideas of trading to foreign, mostly unknown countries to rebuild the trust in the stock market.
    I say these imaginary spaces are important to understand the motivations of people to invest. These imaginary spaces are the ideological backbone of the stock market.
 BioRafael Streib studied History, Science of Education and Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He worked as an assistant for the Institute of Early Modern History 2012-1015. Since July 2015 he is Research Associate in the CRC 923 “Threatened Orders: Societies under Stress” in Tübingen and is working on his PhD project “1720: The South Sea Bubble in London”.


Lina Weber
 
Chair: Money I
AffiliationUniversity of Amsterdam
BioLina Weber is an intellectual historian working on the rise of financial capitalism focusing on the perception of Dutch investments in British funds and the discussions about national debt and public credit during the eighteenth century. Since September 2013 she has been a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam on the subject “British and Dutch discourses on national debt in the eighteenth century” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Wyger Velema (UvA) and Prof. Dr. Ida Nijenhuis (Huygens ING). Recent publications include From Economic Reform to Political Revolution. The Language of Dutch Patriotism and Predicting the Bankruptcy of England. David Hume’s Political Discourses and the Dutch Debate on National Debt in the Eighteenth Century; she also acted as editor for Isaak Iselin. Schriften zur Ökonomie (Volume 2).

 
Comments